Drugs in the underwear drawer: Is it a problem?
Dr. Ari Hahn Says...
The quick answer is that she should not necessarily go now into another treatment program. She might not be using the narcotics in an addictive manner. I think that the first step should always be to work on the assumption that she is telling the truth. But that does not mean you should trust that she is telling the truth. It is all too easy to dull pain, be it physical or emotional, with chemicals. Your first goal is to figure out if she has a problem right now, or has a potential serious problem.
Tell her that although you are concerned about the potential for abuse, you believe her. Tell her that she should keep them in the medicine cabinet because, although she does not have a problem now, you want to be there for her if she will have a problem. Keeping it a secret is dangerous for her health, and because you love her, you want to be there for her.
You might want to suggest alternative ways of dealing with "hard days." Is there some sort of positive activity that you can do with her or encourage her to do? Maybe a sport, or dancing, or even going out to eat. You might make finding a healthy alternative a joint project. A fun board game with your spouse might even be a substitute for a joint as well.
But keep an eye out. Watch the pills. Learn the side effects such as dry mouth and bad breath. Narcotics also promote snoring in some people. If you can learn the signs that she took narcotics that day, you will be able to see if she really has a problem. Then you can (possibly) confront her.
It would be helpful if she is in a 12 step program. This is where a mentor is helpful.
I wish you a lot of luck.
Page last updated Feb 07, 2013